Jim Garrison's Rejection Letter from Prentice Hall Press, and His Reply
Updated: Oct 9, 2021
In 1983, Garrison sent his manuscript, then titled The Execution, to McGraw-Hill which had published his novel. They rejected it. He then renamed it A Farewell to Justice but had trouble selling it. He hit pay dirt with Prentice Hall in 1986 for his newly titled book, Coup D'Etat, and they paid him a $10,000 advance.
Sylvia Meagher served as the referee and she submitted a 26-page analysis, which noted several problems. She was not happy with the discussion of Shaw,, Ferrie, Banister, Bundy and Russo, the characters from New Orleans. Meagher noted that Garrison's case "depends upon identification and allegations elicited years after the fact. Very little value should be attached to material offered by witnesses - and especially identifications - long after the event. The Russo allegations have been largely discredited." She concluded that the chapters dealing with the New Orleans characters was "dizzying, full of scattershot, and probably irrelevant."
Still, she recommended that Prentice Hall publish Garrison's book, largely because his manuscript claimed that Oswald was totally innocent - a position she had held for many years - as opposed to the Shaw trial, in which Oswald was named as a conspirator.
Philip Pochoda wrote Garrison in January 1987 and rejected Garrison's manuscript. Here is his letter.
I spoke to Philip Pochoda. Besides the Crisman issues referenced above, he said that the motorcade route issue (Garrison thought the motorcade route had been changed, but it hadn't) was "too far a blunder to allow into a Simon & Schuster book, much less a manuscript by the person who should have at least known that to be false."
Here is Garrison's reply.
There is a lot more about Garrison's book (which eventually became On The Trail of The Assassins), in my book, On The Trail of Delusion. I have new information on Fred Crisman which is particularly interesting.